Derby Time Also Means It's Mint Julep Time in Kentucky

May 1, 2012

The mint julep stands proud as the beverage known as Kentucky's signature drink. Unless you're new to the area and haven't been paying attention, you know the julep is synonymous with the Kentucky Derby. What you might not know, however, is that the mint julep's history traces back to a rose water drink in the Middle East.

Kevin Willis visited the famous Seelbach Hotel in Louisville to learn the history and proper preparation of the famous drink. Bartender Cole Phelps was kind enough to share with us his special recipe for the julep he serves at the hotel:

Put 12 mint leaves in a glass, and add 3/4 oz. of simple syrup. Muddle gently, without tearing the leaves. While that sits, crush ice with a mallet. Add ice to glass, then pour in 2 1/4 oz. of bourbon. Add more ice to fill glass to the top. Pour in 1/4 oz more of the syrup on top of the ice, then garnish drink with mint. Add one small straw and serve.